Here’s some info to start making a book of knowledge with.
Types of hair, there are 3 catagories but now with intermarriages, you might have all three on one head.
3 types of hair:
FINE- is 45 to 60 microns in width (1 micron equals 1/25,000 of an inch)
MEDIUM- is 61 TO 90 microns
COARSE- is 91 to 125 and up microns
Now from these 3 types you can have – straight, wavy, curly or kinky/super curly.
If you were to take a hair and cut it in a cross section you’d see that:
straight hair looks round
wavy hair looks oval
curly hair looks almost flat
kinky/super curly looks flat
And all these shapes come from the hair follicle, so straight hair has a round follicle where as curly hair has a oval follicle.
Composition of hair:
Protein- 70 to 88%
Moisture- 10 to 15%
Lipids -3 to 6%
Minerals .06 to .5%
Carbohydrates.1 to .5%
So the majority of the hair is made out of protein, proteins are composed of smaller units called amino acids and there are 19 amino acids and cystine is the most dominant of these and it is a sulphur containing amino acid. If you’ve ever burnt your hair, it smells like rotten eggs!
Hair is built like a rope and when the ends of the hair unravel, it becomes a split end, if you cut off the ends of the hair/rope the hair again is compact but in about 6 to 8 weeks time, it again starts to unravel, so that’s why you need to cut the hair within an 8 week cycle. Only 80% is growing at one time, that’s why haircuts get out of shape.
The cuticle is the strongest part of hair and has the highest sulpur content which is called the matrix protein (now you know where our name comes from!) and is a transparent substance which holds together the inside of the hair called the cortex.
The pigments granules live in the cortex, granules look like little cars and most are divided into Eumelanin (blue pigments), Pheomelanin (red & yellow pigments) but now & then two cars get together so in one car you’ll have a blue, red & yellow which is then called a Mixed Melanin.
Most hispanic, African American, Oriental and Caucasian hair has Mixed Melanins.
Some folks in Hawaii have blue/black hair, that’s because they have mostly Eumelanin pigments.
Most folks in Norway & Sweden have white/blonde hair and guess what, they too have the Eumelanin but just a few granules, so your actually seeing the hair fiber called keratin, look down at your nails, that’s keratin too, it looks like blonde hair doesn’t it? So the folks in Hawaii and the folks in Norway have the same pigment- Eumelanin- but it’s the amounts they have that makes the difference, Hawaiians have a lot and Norwegians have just a little and you’re see more of the keratin fiber.
Keratin is a non-living protein. As the hair moves from the Papilla (live part) it comes out of the hair follicle and it then takes about 45 days to go thru a process called Keratination – where is harden to become “hair”. So hair is dead, what under the skin is alive, what is above the skin is dead, if it wasn’t dead, then it would hurt if you got a haircut.
But that also means the first 1/2 inch of hair is not fully harden, so it takes color and perms quicker, that’s why if you ever do a perm- don’t have the roller band sitting at the scalp, it will break the fragile hair off and that also why you start 1/2 inch out when doing a virgin tint as it will take color fast and with the heat of the scalp even faster still!
The skin has these pigments too and they can give you great clues to help you decide what to use as a haircolor. If your client has a very warm skin color, you’ll know that the person will pull warm when you try & color them, so you might need to counter that warmth with a cool color.
You can get scarves of white cream, fushia and red orange to see who is cool or warm that will help you to decide who is warm or cool,
Print this out and start making your book! – Mags Kavanaugh